It was an emotional surprise reunion in which a family and school graciously allowed Eyewitness News to take part.
A United States Navy Sailor gave his children the surprise of a lifetime when he showed up at their schools on Thursday in the WFSB Early Warning Weather Tracker.
Chief Petty Officer Ned Deshong had been deployed for 10 months on the USS Hampton. He's a chief electronics technician.
"I've been doing this for going on 19 years now," Ned Deshong said.
However, he said he knows things change once kids are involved. He spent nearly a year away from his.
"Just leaving them gets difficult every time," he said.
When he came home this time around, his wife Jamie Deshong thought it's be a nice surprise since the children thought he wasn't coming home until January. She enlisted Eyewitness News for help.
The premise was that Eyewitness News would pretend to show off the weather tracker.
The first stop was Edna C. Stevens School in Cromwell to surprise first-grader Lucas.
The children and their classmates through they were going to be checking out some new weather tracking technology.
Waiting inside, however, was Ned Deshong.
When he emerged from the vehicle's backseat, he was immediately embraced by his emotional son.
"He was completely shocked, stone cold," Ned Deshong said.
From there, the tears never stopped.
Next, Ned Deshong headed to Woodside Intermediate School to see third-grader Nicholas, who was in the middle of reading time.
"When I heard footsteps and turned around, I saw my dad," Nicholas said.
The children weren't the only ones who were surprised.
"They've grown a lot," Ned Deshong said. "This one is almost as tall as I am now."
Ned Deshong said their weekend is already jam-packed with football practice, soccer practice and a Main Street Halloween celebration for the entire family.
For Jamie Deshong, who said she's basically a single mom during her husband's missions, she couldn't wait to get everyone under the same roof again.
"[I'm] ecstatic," she said. "I'm no longer doing it by myself with the help of my parents. Daddy is here now."
The reunion will be short-lived, however. Ned Deshong has to leave again in a few weeks.
He said he will be home for Christmas.
Eyewitness News thanked Deshong for his service and also thanked school officials for allowing crews to take part in the magical moment.
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